In what was a sleepy little town by the Arabian Sea, Kovalam has metamorphosed into a beach town buzzing with activity. True to its name, Kovalam (meaning a grove of coconut trees in local language) has rows and rows of coconut trees swaying in the sea breeze and is one of the most beautiful sights to behold. However, do not mistake this for a laid-back destination as there a host of exciting things to do in Kovalam.
Here’s a ready-reckoner about things to do in ‘Kovalam’ for first-timers
With the magnificent Arabian Sea as its constant companion, it is no wonder that the beaches of Kovalam are extremely popular amongst the tourists as well as locals. But that’s not all. The list of top things to do in Kovalam just begins here. Here’s a glimpse of what you can do in Kovalam.
1. Lighthouse Beach
This is unarguably the most popular attraction of Kovalam and it’s not without a reason. Counted amongst the best things to do in Kovalam, the beach offers enough space to take long, unhurried walks (romantic or otherwise), play beach ball or swim in its clear, soothing waters.
2. Veli Tourist Village
If you want to spend a relaxed afternoon, watching time slip by lazing on a rowboat, this is the place to be. Enjoy pedal boats and motor boats and feast on Kerala banana chips and fresh coconut water.
3. Vellayani Lake
Located just seven kilometers from Kovalam, this is a fresh water lake. And if you come here during the Onam festival, you can witness the renowned Annual Snake Boat race.
4. Vizhinjam Lighthouse
This working lighthouse is an astounding structure on the Kovalam Beach and this part of the beach gets its name from this candy-striped edifice. The climb is quite steep and this is where the newly erected elevator comes in handy. Truly one of the essential things to do in Kovalam at night.
5. Kovalam Art Gallery
If you are keen to spend a calm, relaxed afternoon browsing through art, just head to the Kovalam Art Gallery. Check out some exceptional artwork and artifacts by Indian and international artists.
Off The Beaten Track: Some Not-So-Touristy Things To Do in Kovalam
Kovalam is a traveller’s delight as it offers scenic beauty, food, history, activities, and not to forget shopping. Add these to things to do in Kovalam and take the untrodden path and you are sure to be rewarded with some truly unique sights.
6. Padmanabhapuram Palace
If history enchants you, this majestic fortress that was once the capital of Travancore Kings is the place for you. There are 180 massive rooms, a dining hall capable of seating 1000 guests, secret courtyards and much more to hold your attention. It is surely one of the top things to do in Kovalam as history and architectural beauty become one here.
7. Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave temple
This unique, unfinished and elaborate temple dates back to the 18th century and has exquisitely carved statues of Shiva and Parvati on its outer walls. You will not find this on the popular tourist circuit, but it is a wonderful place to see an authentic single-rock cut cave.
8. Karamana River
Charge that camera battery before going on a boat ride along this mesmerising river that meanders through the city of Thiruvananthapuram, as some truly awesome views await you. The backwaters and the greenery are more than a fair reward for the effort and you might just wish that the cruise never ended.
If you are a foodie, a trip to the lighthouse beach cannot be complete without visiting Suprabhatam, an authentic Kerala eating house that serves vegetarian thalis (full meals) and mouth-watering fresh fruit juices. You would need to ask someone as Suprabhtam is a hidden gem.
10. Kovalam Fish Market
Crabs, lobsters, prawns–you name it and it’s found in abundance at the Kovalam Fish Market. And this makes a trip to the fish market one of the top things to do in Kovalam. The sights and smells of fresh fish will work up a healthy appetite.
11. Surfing and other activities
Kovalam is home to some of the most fascinating water sports and activities like surfing, swimming, rowing and boating (catamarans). The clear blue waters and wide beach expanses are enough motivation for you to try out some, if not all, of these top things to do in Kovalam and take back some truly unforgettable memories.
12. Ayurvedic Massages
A trip to Kovalam is incomplete if you do not experience the famous Kerala Ayurvedic massages that are designed to soothe frayed nerves. Schedule a traditional massage either after a tiring day of sight-seeing or early in the morning.
Explore the many attractions of Kovalam on your next trip there, and do share your experiences with us.